Seaborne iron ore prices have continued to fluctuate in a range despite dramatic swings in futures markets. Government attempts to reassure the economy continue to founder despite a focus on the most optimistic sectors.
The Kallanish KORE 62% Fe index picked up $0.32/t to $116.59/dry metric tonne cfr Qingdao. The Kallanish KORE 65% Fe index slipped $0.23/t to $135.25/dmt cfr, and the KORE 58% Fe index dropped $3.92/t to $113.34/dmt cfr. 170,000 tonnes of PB fines sold at $113.50/t with a laycan in 28 July-6 August.
On the Dalian Commodity Exchange, September iron ore settled down CNY 2.5/t at CNY 729/t ($108.67/t), while on the Singapore Exchange July 62% Fe futures settled up $8.01/t at $116.15/t. The same contract for 65% Fe and 58% Fe futures settled up $6.79/t at $131.12/t, and down $0.14/t at $119.90/t respectively.
Scrap prices continue to tick lower but billet held its ground. 6mm+ heavy scrap delivered to mills in the Yangtze River Delta dropped CNY 21/t to CNY 3,192/t. Tangshan billet held steady at CNY 3,920/t.
Chinese ferrous markets were stronger on Thursday but sentiment continues to swing wildly. Government attempts to steady the ship focussed strongly on the automotive sector in recent days. This is in part because it is a sector that is susceptible to stimulus.
In the weekly State Council executive meeting on Wednesday, premier Li Keqiang discussed various measures to boost automotive sales. He said these could spur automotive consumption by CNY 200 billion this year. At less than 0.2% of GDP, however, these measures will not be enough to support overall economic growth.